What is the significance of different domain endings (e.g. .ie .com .net)
Top Level Domains (TLD)
There are three types of top-level domains:
TLD – Top Level Domains
The most common extensions that you’re probably familiar with. They usually have three characters and include .com, .net and .org domains.
ccTLD - Country code domain name extensions
These are usually 2 characters. Some of the ccTLD extensions that you’re probably familiar with are:
.ie for the Republic of Ireland
.uk for the United Kingdom
.de for Germany
.fr for France
.cn for China
(The straight .uk only first became available in June 2014)
gTLD - generic Top Level Domains
These are usually 3 or more letters such as .biz .info, .name .mobi
What do the Domain Endings Mean?
There are hundreds of domain endings. Here is a brief explanation of the most common domain endings:
The DotCom is generally intended for commercial use. This is the premium extension and by far the most recognised and because of its worldwide popularity it is usually most difficult to register the domain you're after.
.ie (Republic of Ireland)
If you are an organisation based in Ireland it's the domain to register. However, if the .ie domain you are seeking is already taken you might consider registering with a different ending.
.co.uk and .uk (United Kingdom)
If you run a business in the United Kingdom you really should get a .co.uk domain. If that's not available you could see if the .uk is. You don't have to be a business, you may use a .co.uk or .uk domain for your personal use..
This was originally intended for network oriented organisations such as Internet Service Providers, Telecommunications and IT companies. This definitely isn’t the case any longer. Anyone can register a .net for example for a memorable domain such as fishing.net or tennis.net
This extension was originally intended for non-profit or Charitable organisations. Again, anybody can register this
This is a gTLD that is generally registered to classify a website as a business. It can be used to symbolise B2B (Business to Business) companies.
This gTLD is generally used as an extension for information websites or a knowledge-base.
This domain extension originally was intended to be used for mobile versions of websites. Nowadays it tends to be registered by big companies merely to protect a brand.
Used primarily for media, primarily video, related websites. (interestingly the domain belongs to the island of Tuvalu who happen to have been assigned this domain)
Another domain that is actually a ccTLD for Western Samoa but was converted to a domain extension commonly used as an acronym for ‘website’. Not very commonly used
This is a gTLD that’s intended for personal use. You’ll find that this extension is used for personal / family websites or simply used for name related email addresses.
This is a ccTLD reserved for European wide businesses.
.co (Columbia - Now General)
Originally reserved for Columbia this domain ending has recently become available for anybody to register - Useful if you cannot get the ideal .com